Radio cash hunt nuisance

Tears ... barmaid Kerry Owens
Tears ... barmaid Kerry Owens

IT was the talk of the town centre last week when a radio station’s cash giveaway promotion rolled into St Helens.

But one man who didn’t enjoy seeing hundreds of “hysterical” listeners racing around asking people if they were the Real Radio Renegade – in a bid to win £4,000 – was Brian Rigby at the Olde England pub.

Mr Rigby, from the pub, told how dozens of people hunting the mysterious mascot converged on the Corporation Street venue last Thursday lunch time (May 12) after a cryptic clue apparently pointed a crowd of listeners in their direction.

He told the Reporter: “All of a sudden, at about 1.30pm, we were met with about 100 people barging their way into the pub and pestering customers. One girl even smacked me in the face when I tried to stop her coming in.

“It was like something from a zombie film – they were all crazed, totally hysterical and out of control. Our barmaid Kerry Owens was in tears.

“This promotion just incites people into disorder and mass hysteria. The clues are deliberately vague and about 60 people just abandoned their cars in the middle of the road. There could easily have been a serious accident.

“If we ran a promotion that encouraged people to run around screaming I would be prosecuted. How would Real Radio like it if we arranged for 100 people to charge into their station?”

Olde England licensee Julia Carmichael agreed: “The station could have prevented this sort of problem by making the Real Radio Renegade a six foot tall blue chicken. Otherwise innocent members of the public are just going to get pestered.

“It was so heated it could easily have led to a fight. It is deliberately tempting members of the public, who might not have seen that amount of money in their whole life, to behave in this way.”

A spokesman for Real Radio declined to comment.